Considering Metal Detecting with Your Kids?

From scavenger hunts to geocaching, there is an innate excitement in the hunt for treasure. Metal detecting is a hobby that provides many benefits, the least of which is that it’s fun for practically any age.

This guide will highlight some of our favorite choices for metal detectors which are easy enough for kids and beginners, with the functionality and price that adults will enjoy.

Benefits For Kids & Adults:

  • Bonding Experiences – A chance to spend time together, and to make lasting memories.
  • Getting Into the Great Outdoors – With the advent of Nature Deficit Disorder, fun reasons to get outside and into nature are a benefit for all ages.
  • Fresh Air and Exercise – You’ve probably heard how good walking and moving is for our bodies, and metal detecting lends itself perfectly to that.
  • Patience and Resilience – The search for treasure involves walking the land, listening to the different tones, and digging many a hole. When a treasure is found, that patience and work are rewarded.
  • Educational –  But your kids won’t know it! They will just see it as fun – Diving into your local history, learning the differences between metals, and even learning to operate a metal detector, appeal to our natural curiosity, a prime component in learning.

Choosing a Metal Detector for Kids

When choosing a metal detector for kids, the goal is to find a one that appeals to kids, while still having the functionality to find treasure. For this reason, we avoided the “toy” type metal detectors. Other factors we considered:

  • Weight: A lightweight, ergonomic metal detector will allow for longer treasure hunting.
  • Size: An adjustable and/or removable shaft will ensure a metal detector length that works for both children and adults.
  • Functionality: Turn-on-and-go functionality so you can get started right out of the box.
  • Warranty: For that extra peace of mind.
  • Quality and Reliability: We chose companies that are known for making durable, well-made metal detectors.
  • Price: When first starting, it makes sense to find a well-priced detector that does not compromise on performance.

Below you’ll find our favorite detectors for kids and families:

Minelab Go-Find 44

PROS

  • One-touch operation: Turn-on-and-go
  • Easy Portability: Just unfold to use and fold back up to transport.
  • Treasure View: Green LEDs for Treasure, Red for Trash
  • Go-Find Standard App

CONS

  • Not Waterproof
  • No Visual Target ID

Minelab Go-Find 44

The Go-Find 44 has automatic ground tracking, and an easy to read LED screen which shows if you have foud trash or treasure. Red LEDs light for trash, while green indicates coins or jewelry.

3 search (find) modes allow you to search for specific groups of metal objects by accepting or rejecting detection.

Similarly to the ACEs, the Go-Finds produce audible tones to alert you to the type of metal you are targeting. A low tone for iron (ferrous), a mid-tone for less valuable metals, and a high tone for silver and copper targets.

Battery life provides 15 – 20 hours of treasure-seeking time, and the adjustable shaft extends from 21.9″ – 51.4″.

The Go-Find 44 connects with the Go-Find Standard app, with which you can identify coins, customize your detector and App tones, record finds to Google Maps, and listen to music while you detect. You can upgrade to the Go-Find Pro app as an in-app purchase, which adds the ability to remotely control the metal detector volume and an advanced settings menu.

Technical Specifications

  • Frequencies: VLF Single (8 kHz) Adjustable
  • Search Coil: 10″ Mono Waterproof
  • Search Modes: 3 (All Metal / Coin / Jewelry)
  • Display Type: LCD
  • Pinpoint Mode: Yes
  • Digital Target ID: No VDI
  • Depth Indication: Yes
  • Ground Balance: Automatic Ground Tracking
  • Audio Tones: 4
  • Battery: 4 AA
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 Years

Minelab Go-Find 66

The Go-Find 66 has automatic ground tracking, and an easy to read LED screen which shows if you have foud trash or treasure. Red LEDs light for trash, while green indicates coins or jewelry.

Battery life provides 15 – 20 hours of treasure-seeking time, and the adjustable shaft extends from 21.9″ – 51.4″.

The Go-Find 66 adds two search modes over the Go-Find 44’s 3 – Relics and Custom. It adds an additional mid-tone for higher value metals and lower than the high tone’s silver and copper.

The Go-Find 66 connects with the Go-Find Pro app, with which you can identify coins, view detector information and control volume, customize your detector and App tones, record finds to Google Maps, and listen to music while you detect. Earbuds are included with this detector.

Technical Specifications

  • Frequencies: VLF Single (8 kHz) Adjustable
  • Search Coil: 10″ Mono Waterproof
  • Search Modes: 5 (All Metal / Coin / Jewelry / Relics/ Custom)
  • Display Type: LCD
  • Pinpoint Mode: Yes
  • Digital Target ID: No VDI
  • Depth Indication: Yes
  • Ground Balance: Automatic Ground Tracking
  • Audio Tones: 4
  • Battery: 4 AA
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 Years
Go-Find 66

PROS

  • One-touch operation: Turn-on-and-go
  • Easy Portability: Just unfold to use and fold back up to transport.
  • Treasure View: Green LEDs for Treasure, Red for Trash
  • Go-Find Pro App

CONS

  • Not Waterproof
  • No Visual Target ID
Quest X5

PROS

  • Rainproof
  • Lightweight and adjustable
  • Intuitive Menu

CONS

  • Not Waterproof

Quest X5

At 2.09 lbs, the Quest X5 is lightweight. The adjustable shaft provides a length range from 22″ – 44″, great for adults and kids.  The X5 comes with a TurboD Double D coil for great performance to handle high mineralized soil or beach hunting. 

The USB rechargeable battery will provide 8 – 12 hours of treasure hunting time.

The Quest X5 has a Digital Target ID, which allows the user to quickly identify what type of target the machine is detecting. There is also a built-in flashlight.

Technical Specifications

  • Frequencies: VLF Single (7.99 kHz)
  • Search Coil: DD
  • Search Modes: 3  (All Metal / Coin / Jewelry)
  • Display Type: LCD
  • Pinpoint Mode: Yes
  • Depth Indication: Yes
  • Ground Balance: Semi-Auto
  • Audio Tones: 5
  • Battery: 1000mAh Li-Pro battery
  • Weight: 2.09 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 year for control box & coil

Garrett Ace 200

The ACE 200 is lightweight and easy to learn. The Digital Target ID scale and depth indicator make it easy to know what you are digging,  and how deep to dig.

The ACE 200 has 3 tones, based on conductivity and the type of metal of your target. For this detector, a low tone for ferrous Digital ID < 21), medium for low conductivity (21 -80), and a bell tone for high conductivity (> 80).

Battery life provides 15 – 20 hours of treasure-seeking time, and the adjustable shaft extends from 42″ – 51″.

The Garrett Ace Metal Detectors are known for being easy to learn while still having a great search scope.

Technical Specifications

  • Frequencies: VLF Single (6.5 kHz)
  • Search Coil: Concentric 6.5″ х 9″ PROformance
  • Search Modes: 3  (Zero Disk (All Metal) / Coin / Jewelry)
  • Display Type: LCD
  • Pinpoint Mode: No
  • Digital Target ID: 0 – 99
  • Depth Indication: Yes
  • Ground Balance: Preset
  • Audio Tones: 3
  • Battery: 4 AA
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 Year, Limited Parts/Labor
Ace 200

PROS

  • One-touch operation: Turn-on-and-go
  • Easy Portability: Breaks down in 3 pieces for transport
  • Comfortable armrest

CONS

  • Not Waterproof
  • No adjustable ground balance
Garrett ACE 300

PROS

  • One-touch operation: Turn-on-and-go
  • Easy Portability: Breaks down in 3 pieces for transport
  • Comfortable armrest

CONS

  • Not Waterproof
  • No adjustable ground balance

Garrett Ace 300

The ACE 300 is lightweight and easy to learn. The Digital Target ID scale and depth indicator makes it easy to know what you are digging,  and how deep to dig.

Battery life provides 15 – 20 hours of treasure-seeking time, and the adjustable shaft extends from 42″ – 51″.

The ACE 300 includes Notch Discrimination and Pinpointing. Pinpointing can help to zone in on your target and decrease the size of hole you need to dig.

The ACE 300 adds 2 additional search modes (Relic and Custom) over the Ace 200, and a pinpoint mode. It also provides frequency adjustments, over the ACE 200’s fixed frequency. The Ace 300 includes headphones (which will also prolong battery life), making it a nice package with more features for a great price.

Technical Specifications

  • Frequencies: VLF Single (8 kHz) Adjustable
  • Search Coil: 7″ x 10″ concentric PROformance
  • Search Modes: 5 (All Metal / Coin / Jewelry / Relics/ Custom)
  • Display Type: LCD
  • Pinpoint Mode: No
  • Digital Target ID: 0 – 99
  • Depth Indication: Yes
  • Ground Balance: Preset
  • Audio Tones: 3
  • Battery: 4 AA
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 Year, Limited Parts/Labor

White's TreasueMaster

The White’s TreasureMaster has a large, easy to understand display, with 5 search modes plus a pinpoint mode. This machine has the advantage of additional compatible coils being available.

The adjustable shaft goes from 41.5″ to 51.5″.

The TreasureMaster (and TreasurePro) have sensitivity adjustment to increase or decrease responsiveness to targets, ground, and external electrical noise.

The TreasureMaster (and TreasurePro) are unique from the other detectors on our list with a Beach search mode. This mode aims to ignore conductive wet or salty soils. This feature may be useful if you expect to be searching salt-water beaches. Additionally, Beach mode can be useful if searching wet, heavily fertilized farm fields. They both also have automatic ground balance with tracking means they automatically adjust to ground mineralization and track changes.

2 AA batteries provide 20 hours of use (without backlight).

Technical Specifications

  • Frequencies: VLF Single (8.2 kHz)
  • Search Coil: 9.5″ Concentric Waterproof
  • Search Modes: 5 (All Metal / Beach / Coin / Jewelry / Relics)
  • Display Type: LCD
  • Pinpoint Mode: Yes
  • Digital Target ID: Yes
  • Depth Indication: Yes
  • Ground Balance: Automatic Ground Tracking
  • Audio Tones: 4
  • Battery: 2 AA
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 Years
treasuremaster-3q-shot

PROS

  • Smart discrimination
  • Large, easy to understand display

CONS

  • Not Waterproof
treasurepro-3q-shot

PROS

  • Smart discrimination
  • Large, easy to understand display

CONS

  • Not Waterproof

White's TreasuePro

The White’s TreasurePro has a large, easy to understand display, with 5 search modes plus a pinpoint mode. This machine has the advantage of additional compatible coils being available.

Automatic ground balance with tracking means they automatically adjust to ground mineralization and track changes.

The TreasurePro captures ground mineral information in real-time, so by turning the power on and off or switching in and out Beach Mode, it will automatically unlock a locked ground balance level. It also includes 8 tone identification, over the TreasureMaster’s 2 and 4 tone modes.

Both TreasureMaster and the TreasurePro include a Pinpoint mode, and the ability to accept or reject metal types based on their conductivity and/or electrical phase, indicated on the VDI scale (Visual Discrimination Indication).

The adjustable shaft goes from 46″ to 51″.

2 AA batteries provide 20 hours of use (without backlight).

Technical Specifications

  • Frequencies: VLF Single (7.8 kHz)
  • Search Coil: 10″ DD Waterproof
  • Search Modes: 5 (All Metal / Beach / Coin / Jewelry / Relics)
  • Display Type: LCD
  • Pinpoint Mode: Yes
  • Digital Target ID: Yes
  • Depth Indication: Yes
  • Ground Balance: Automatic Ground Tracking
  • Audio Tones: 8
  • Battery: 2 AA
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 Years

Any of these options will provide you and your child with a fun metal detecting experience, and a machine they won’t outgrow too quickly. Just getting started in the hobby? Read Getting Started with Metal Detecting.